Carrie actress Samantha Weinstein has died aged 28 following a two and a half year battle with ovarian cancer.
Her death on May 14 was confirmed to Global News Canada by the star’s father David Weinstein who paid an emotional tribute to the Canadian star.
He said: ‘Sam was actually a living embodiment of a sunbeam.
‘She was so full of positive energy, anyone who ever met her would say that she just lit up every room she walked into.’
Her mother, Jojo Tindall-Weinstein said Samantha ‘changed everyone’s lives.’
RIP: Carrie actress Samantha Weinstein has died aged 28 following a two-year battle with ovarian cancer (pictured 2011)
Tragic loss: Samantha’s family posted a heartbreaking snap announcing her passing
‘And I know that sounds really dramatic, but people are really serious when they say that. Her infectious, positive attitude actually changed the way other people live.’
Samantha’s loved ones also posted two beautiful photos of the star posing against a celestial background – as they announced her passing.
The post read: ‘Hello from the other side. Sam died on May 14th at 11:25am surrounded by her loved ones at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.
‘After two and a half years of cancer treatment, and a lifetime of jet setting around the world, voicing a plethora of cartoon animals, making music, and knowing more about life than most people ever will, she is off on her next adventure.
Samantha was known for playing high school student Heather in the Carrie remake in 2013 – alongside stars Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore.
She also had roles in children’s cartoons Gerald McBoing Boing and Babar and the Adventures of Badou and was doing voiceover work for cartoons in the weeks leading up to her death,
She broke through into acting aged just 10 years old in 2005’s Big Girl where she played Josephine – a role which made her the youngest-ever winner of an ACTRA Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female in 2006.
Samantha’s final Instagram post came on May 1 – which showed the actress enjoying her honeymoon with new husband Michael Knutson.
Brave: The star – who bravely documented her battle against the disease – shared her final Instagram post on May 1 – when she honeymooned in Tokyo
On-screen: Samantha was known for playing high school student Heather in the Carrie remake in 2013 – alongside stars Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore
Husband: She wed Michael Knutson in a romantic ceremony in October 2022
She wed Michael in a romantic ceremony in October 2022.
Samantha bravely documented her cancer and treatment journey on social media, detailing how she was first diagnosed aged 25 – after realizing she looked ‘strangely bloated’ while walking home from a friend’s house.
She wrote in a first person piece for Love What Matters: ‘It happened almost overnight. I was walking home from a friend’s house after drinking entirely too much red wine, when I noticed I looked strangely bloated.
‘I knew I wasn’t pregnant because I was single and celibate, having just left an emotionally abusive relationship four months previously. My roommate assured me her girlfriends got like this all the time and it was just ovulation… or something.
‘Spoiler alert – it was not ovulation or something.
I was 25 and in the best shape of my life. There was no history of cancer in my family. I had just finished filming a music video with my punk rock band, Killer Virgins, and we were a week away from releasing our first major single.
‘I was working as a full-time voice actor and living with a cool, hippie-earth-mama roommate and her two kittens. I was at the peak of what I assumed would be the rest of my life as a young creative in Toronto. Then, I started blowing up like Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The next thing I knew, I was in the hospital under the disco-ball surgical light in the operating room, counting down from ten.
‘I spent four excruciating days in the hospital healing from a massive abdominal incision, most of which was spent hallucinating like Hypnotoad at Burning Man.
‘When the nurses made me walk on the third day, I dissociated for the first time, looking down at my body from the ceiling. I only knew what was going on because of YouTube (all that binge watching finally paid off!). After the surgery, my dad drove me back to my parents’ house to recover.
‘Many weeks later, my mom told me I had looked like a ghost when I first walked into their living room; I was so pale and rail thin. It took me weeks to sit up on my own and walk without a cane. I’d never dealt with chronic pain before, or needed to rely on hardcore pain meds.
‘ Every day was a struggle to keep my spirits up and not collapse into the blackhole that was my mind – What would happen to my health? My career? My life?’
She would later reconnect with her childhood friend Michael while in ‘crippling pain’ on Valentine’s Day – with her future husband sending her a Facebook message.
She wrote: ‘First dates were nerve wracking enough, but I had just received some devastating news the week before- it was cancer. Talk about scaring a guy off! There was something about him, though, that put me at ease.
‘Eyes fixed on the dirt ground of the dog park, I told him I’d been diagnosed with a rare ovarian germ-cell yolk sac tumor, and I’d be starting chemotherapy in just a few months.
‘I held my breath, squeezed my eyes shut, and waited for the inevitable rejection… but it never came. Michael smiled and squeezed my hand. His mother had fought cancer for eight years and had passed away two years ago. He was ready for this.
‘When my hormones were raging from IVF injections, we screamed at each other as we built an IKEA vanity and collapsed on the floor laughing. When my hair started falling out, we shaved our heads together.
‘When my fingers were turning black from nerve damage, he took me out for ice cream and held the cone. He taught me love is selfless and reminded me to let others take care of me too
WHAT IS OVARIAN CANCER AND WHAT ARE ITS SYMPTOMS?
Ovarian cancer is a cancer of the ovaries, which are part of the female reproductive system that contain their eggs. There are two ovaries and both are attached to the womb. Cancer on the ovaries can spread to the nearby bowel and bladder.
It is the eighth most common cancer among women, and is most common in women who have had the menopause but it can affect women of any age.
About 66 per cent of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed in the more advanced stages of the disease.
At the time of diagnosis, 60 per cent of ovarian cancers will have already spread to other parts of the body, bringing the five-year survival rate down to 30 per cent from 90 per cent in the earliest stage.
It’s diagnosed so late because its location in the pelvis means the symptoms can be vague and difficult to recognise, particularly early on.
They’re often the same as symptoms of less serious conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).
The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
- Feeling constantly bloated
- A swollen tummy
- Discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area
- Feeling full quickly when eating, or loss of appetite
- Needing to pee more often or more urgently than normal
See your GP if:
You’ve been feeling bloated most days for the last three weeks
You have other symptoms of ovarian cancer that won’t go away – especially if you’re over 50 or have a family history of ovarian or breast cancer, as you may be at a higher risk